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Taiwan Reminds Veterans Attending Military Event In China To Avoid Interviews, Political Gatherings

14.06.2024 00:27

Beijing to hold centennial celebrations for Whampoa Military Academy in southern port city of Guangzhou.

Taiwan has warned veteran commanders attending a military event in China not to give interviews or attend political gatherings while they are there.

Beijing has invited retired generals from Taiwan to attend centennial celebrations for the Whampoa Military Academy, the island nation's Veterans Affairs Council Minister Yen De-fa confirmed Thursday.

Several retired generals are set to visit the academy's original site in the southern port city of Guangzhou, the Focus Taiwan news channel reported.

"The council has contacted some veterans who are attending the celebration in Guangzhou, reminding them not to give interviews or attend political events and to be careful not to leak personal information," said the minister.

The academy was founded in 1924, and Beijing will mark its centennial on June 16.

Taipei founded the Taiwan Military Academy, the official successor of the Whampoa Military Academy, when the nationalist Kuomintang government fled to Taiwan after losing the civil war on the mainland. It is located in Taiwan's southern Kaohsiung region and holds its own celebrations.

The Whampoa Military Academy was originally established in Whampoa, China in 1924. It moved to Fengshan District in Kaohsiung at the end of the Chinese Civil War.

Taipei sees the invitation to the Taiwanese retired generals "as a 'united front' tactic by the Chinese government," said Yen.

"United front" relates to coordination between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang to fight invaders, including the Japanese.

Yen reminded the veterans to heed the act governing relations between Taiwan and mainland China as well as national security laws.

Any Taiwanese veteran seen saluting the flag or emblems of China, singing China's national anthem or honoring other symbols of Chinese political authority is "deemed harmful to national dignity."

Anyone found guilty of such conduct faces punishment, including the suspension of their pension or being stripped of their rank as well as a fine.

The invitation comes amid tensions across the Taiwan Strait which have escalated since the inauguration of President William Lai Ching-te last month.

China claims Taiwan as its "breakaway province" while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949. -

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